After reading this chapter, I have learned more about myself and why my marriage failed.
In this chapter, they mention six traits of intimate relationships: knowledge, caring, interdependence, mutuality, trust, and commitment. Even though the authors believe to have an intimate relationship that all these components do not have to be present, I believe differently. From my limited experience with intimate relationships, if you are missing at least one of these traits, there will be problems in the relationship. However, because of the need to belong, many will ignore these problems.
At nineteen, I met my ex-husband through a mutual friend. Coincidentally, I had just put my ex-boyfriend at the time on a plane to college. Because of my need to have ‘someone there,’ my anxious-ambivalent attachment kicked in; I latched on the first guy I met.
People always say that the signs were there from the beginning, but they refused to see them; this is what happened to me. In the beginning, we spent every day together, except when we were working. We liked doing the same things, such as going to the movies and hanging at the beach after dark. At that time, I thought we had good communication; but, as I think back, we didn’t talk about the things that would have taught each of us about the true person we were dealing with.
After the first few weeks, I realized that we already had trust issues that needed to be resolved. He had not officially broken up with his girlfriend because he wanted to see how things would go with us first. This was brought to my attention after she decided to come by my job. When I confronted him about it, he completely denied still being involved with her. This was my first sign to leave him alone, but because of my anxious-ambivalent attachment to him, I kept on seeing him. I continued to ignore my mistrust for him for many years to come.
Four years later, I convinced him that because we had been together for so long that we should get married. Within the first month of marriage, I realized that I had made a bad choice. At 23 years old, neither one of us was ready for that type of commitment. We were never able to get the point of mutuality; it was ‘him’ and ‘me, but never ‘we.’ Because we had taken vows, however, I tried to make it work.
One day, my husband approached me about starting a family. In my heart, I knew we were not ready; however, I allowed him to change my mind. I tried for fourteen months to get pregnant. Once I did, I had a miscarriage after three weeks. This caused me to become real depressed and start blaming myself because of things I had done in my past. Instead of showing interdependence and helping me to raise my self-esteem issues, my husband decided to tell me that he had conceived a child with his ex-girlfriend a year and half prior. Even though to this day he denies it, I believe that he felt that I would handle the situation better if I had a child of my own. For a few months, I did…then reality set it. Three months later, I found out I was pregnant. I stayed with him during my pregnancy an up through my daughters first birthday. I am now HAPPILY divorced!
When I decide to get married again, which I will, my relationship will consist of ALL six traits, not just some. For a strong relationship, everyone should do the same and not settle for a few of them because they will intertwine together to make a happy, long-lasting relationship.